State-level kids safety campaign launched

RohaniKUCHING: Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim launched the state-level ‘Kanak-kanak Sahabat Bijak: Safe and Protect’ campaign at SK Siol Kanan here yesterday.

The campaign aimed to address children’s safety issues by creating awareness among young children of the need for them to stay out of harm’s way.

The campaign is a collaboration among the police, Education Department, National Population and Family Development Board, Health Department, Fire and Rescue Department, Road Safety Department, National Anti-Drug Agency (Agensi Antidadah Kebangsaan) and several other government agencies and corporate bodies.

Rohani said children were important assets and there are 10.5 million of them in the country.

“Hence, my ministry takes children’s safety issues seriously.”

She said since accidents or unwanted incidents could happen to children anywhere and at any time, everyone, especially guardians, teachers and parents, must look after and educate them on the need to stay safe at all times.

The dangers children are exposed to include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and the possibility of being kidnapped and sold for their organs or for the sex trade.

Those in the rural areas, who lacked exposure on these dangers, had become targets of criminals, she cautioned.

Statistics from the Welfare Department showed that the number of children who needed care and protection in 2010 was 1,854. The figure rose to 1,975 in 2011, 2,157 (2012), 2,346 (2013) and 1,315 (Jan-Aug 2014).

On another matter, Rohani urged parents not to abandon or kill their newborn babies if they do not want them. They should send their babies to welfare centres.

She said this when asked to comment on the case of a newborn baby girl found abandoned in a plastic bag in Shah Alam recently.

Rohani said the baby was now being treated in a hospital in Klang, and she would be properly taken care of.

“The baby was found alive, but it is very sad that the person who abandoned her had the intention to murder the baby by putting her inside a plastic bag.”

Among those present at the launching ceremony yesterday were Kuching North City Commission Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai and SK Siol Kanan headmistress Saptuyah Abang.
Source: Borneo Post